This weekend saw the now annual ‘An Indian Summer Festival’ return to the city for a fourth year.
Attracting hundreds of people from all over the country, the Indian Summer festival has bought an essence of India to the heart of Leicester, offering an infusion of traditional dance, food and music.
The weeklong event, which was held in the city’s cultural quarter, began with a Flash Mob of dancers from the Shiamak Dance Academy, performing in the city centre, giving the public a taste of the festival.
From a mix of traditional south Indian Kuchipudi dance performances to Laughter Yoga, musical Tabla performances and much more, attendees have had the opportunity to experience traditional arts and crafts workshops and take part in various interactive sessions, catering for all ages.
Dancer, Riddhi Joshi, from local dance academy, Nupur Arts, shared her excitement of performing: with Pukaar News: “We were asked to create an Indian atmosphere by doing little scenes around the place, we’d change into different outfits for performances that represented different parts of India, the idea is to get everybody into Indian culture and see what it’s all about”.
The events were held in different city centre venues; including the Curve theatre, Maker’s Yard, Phoenix and in Orton Square. The exciting events included; live Ayurvedic demonstrations, cookery lessons and the National Carrom Championships, as well as the ‘Desi Circus’; which gave a platform to various performers to showcase their talent in music, dance, theatre and comedy.
Even the rain did not stop the public, as many gathered outside to watch the live musical and dance performances, in Orton Square, whilst enjoying the refreshing taste of coconut water.
From tasty Indian food, to traditional ethnic wear, sweet treats and more, the ‘Big Bazaar’ on Southampton Street, recreated an Indian market with colourful stalls offering an unforgettable shopping experience.
In its fourth year running, Festival Director, Bipin Anand shared: “Indian summer is about giving people an experience of what happens in India and beyond, it’s been great, such a fantastic atmosphere, going from venue to venue, every venue is sort of packed. The talks, the workshops, people are really getting involved. It has been exhilarating, extremely tiring, but we have been so satisfied with what’s going on and really can’t be happier”.
The highlight of the event has been the spectacular Holi performance, which saw dancers wearing their brightest whites, dancing to the sounds of the dhol, saxophone and trumpet, recreating the colourful festival of Holi by playing with water based coloured powder, as celebrated annually in India, in the city’s Orton Square.